I don’t often travel for business, and I’ll tell you why. I don’t like it. Not the business part, that’s no big deal. The travel part is what I dread. It makes me surly, snappish and borderline manic. I’m not sure why. I’ve only had one near death experience on a plane, so that’s not it. I think it’s the whole moo-cow, being herded into groups and treated like an annoyance that gets to me. Who trains people at check-in counters these days? Don Rickles?
Before I even get to the airport my heart is racing. I’m worrying about time, checking my bag, getting through security, getting re-dressed after security, then finding a place to park my exhausted self at the gate with that mass of humanity. (And I mean MASS.) Then knowing. Just KNOWING it’s going to be a full flight and I am going to be crammed in with A) someone who is suffering from what could either be the flu or Ebola, B) someone who has no concept of personal space, or C) both.
This time I had a congested, sneezy, snorky person on either side of me, as I was obviously being punished by God for something and was allotted a middle seat. After one explosive sneeze, the guy on my left fell asleep, only snoring on occasion. To my right was Mr. Bobble Head. Eight-week old children could hold their heads up longer than this guy could. Out of the corner of my eye I’d see his head fall forward, then ZIP, up it would go for about three seconds then BAM, back down again. Up, down, up, down…Repeat for 1 and a half hours.
And what happened to drink service? Maybe 20 minutes in, I was craning my neck around to see where the drink cart was. Answer: nowhere. No one else seemed alarmed by this. In fact, everyone else appeared to have been drugged or lulled to sleep by the drone of the engines, just like people do with their infants who can’t sleep. I was essentially in a giant Oldsmobile circling the block until everyone went nighty-night, or mom and dad got too dizzy to continue.
I was definitely the only one concerned for the welfare of our flight attendants and their cart of goodies. Shortly before our descent, they teetered by and delivered a Sauvignon blanc that was not worth the wait. I was also offered ice cubes for it. Sad face.
Once we were on the ground again, I glared Mr. Snuffly Bobble Head into the aisle and jumped up so quickly I banged my head on the overhead bin. Payback for my bad attitude, and for coveting a seat in first class.
I shouldn’t complain. I’m on the company’s dime at this conference, get to learn a few things, and enjoy some room service while I plot my return trip.
Oh, and I feel like I’m coming down with something, so I will complete this little circle of life by freaking out some poor person who gets trapped in the seat next to ME on the way home. Sniffle. Cough.